Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Reading List

Here is my list for 2011: start Jan 1 and end Dec 31.

N = Novel
Na = Novella
M = Manga
GN = Graphic Novel

Short Stories are listed at the bottom


1. Ash by Malinda Lo (N)
2. Bride of the Water God, volume 6 by Mi-Kyung Yun (M)
3. Counterfeit Magic by Kelley Armstrong (Na)
4. Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 by David Peterson (GN)
5. Fables 14: Witches by Bill Willingham (GN)


6. Pretty Souls by Julie Particka (N)
7. Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr (N)
8. Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll (N)


9. I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore (N)
10. Resolve by Melissa Marr (M)
11. Mouse Guard: Winter 1152 by David Peterson (GN)
12. The Ghost of Vampire Present by Seleste deLaney (Na)
13. In the Storm by Karen Metcalf (Na)
14. Spice and Wolf, manga volume 2 by Isuna Hasekura (M)


15. Spice and Wolf, manga volume 3 by Isuna Hasekura (M)
16. Graveminder by Melissa Marr (N)
17. Pale Demon by Kim Harrison (N)
18. Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine (N)
19. Prince Caspian by CS Lewis (N)


20. The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong (N)
21. Amaretto Flame by Sammie Spencer (N)
22. Solid by Shelley Workinger (N)
23. My Soul to Steal by Rachel Vincent (N)
24. Pirate Haiku by Michael Spradlin (GB)
25. Bride of the Water God, volume 7 by Mi-Kyung Yun (M)
26. Dr. Horrible and Other Horrible Stories by Zack Whedon (GN)


27. Spice and Wolf, manga volume 4 by Isuna Hasekura (M)
28. Spell Bound by Kelley Armstrong (N)
29. Climbing Out by Brian Ralph (GN)
30. Bride of the Water God, volume 8 by Mi-Kyung Yun (M)
31. Badlands by Seleste deLaney (Na)
32. Black Butler, volume 1 by Yana Toboso (M)
33. Black Butler, volume 2 by Yana Toboso (M)
34. Rose Red by Bill Willingham (GN)
35. The Tarot Cafe, volume 1 by Sang-Sun Park (M)
36. Black Butler, volume 3 by Yana Toboso (M)
37. Chobits, volume 1 by Clamp (M)
38. Red Glove by Holly Black (N)
39. I Wish... by Wren Emerson (N)
40. Chobits, volume 2 by Clamp (M)
41. Chobits, volume 3 by Clamp (M)
42. Chobits, volume 4 by Clamp (M)
43. Lost at Sea by Bryan Lee O'Malley (GN)


44. Sugar Moon by Sarah Diemer (Na)
45. Forever by Maggie Stiefvater (N)
46. Blood Work by Kim Harrison (GN)
47. Senior Year Bites by J.A. Campbell (N)
48. Stolen by Lucy Christopher (N)
49. Becoming (Deluxe) by Kelley Armstrong (GN)
50. Black Butler, volume 4 by Yana Toboso (M)
51. Priscilla the Great by Sybil Nelson (N)
52. Chobits, volume 5 by Clamp (M)
53. Chobits, volume 6 by Clamp (M)


54. The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa (N)
55. Chobits, volume 7 by Clamp (M)
56. Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, volume 1 by Gen Urobuchi (M)
57. Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, volume 2 by Gen Urobuchi (M)
58. Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, volume 3 by Gen Urobuchi (M)
59. Chobits, volume 8 by Clamp (M)
60. Clubbing by Andi Watson (GN)
61. The Centaur's Daughter by Ellen Jensen Abbott (N)
62. Puella Magi Kazumi Magica: The Innocent Malice, volume 1 by Masaki Hiramatsu (M)
63. Sea Princess Azuri, volume 1 by Erica Reis (M)
64. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by CS Lewis (N)
65. The Selchie's Seed by Shulamith Levey Oppenheim (N)
66. Smith of Wootton Major by J.R.R. Tolkien (N)


67. Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready (N)
68. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (N)
69. A Girl Named Willow Krimble by Giuseppe Bianco (N)
70. Emiko Superstar by Mariko Tamaki (GN)
71. Black Butler, volume 5 by Yana Toboso (M)
72. The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci (GN)
73. The Initiation by LJ Smith (N)
74. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (N)


75. Black Butler, volume 6 by Yana Toboso (M)
76. Black Butler, volume 7 by Yana Toboso (M)
77. If I Die by Rachel Vincent (N)
78. How I Made it to Eighteen by Tracy White (GN)
79. Polly and the Pirates, vol 1 by Ted Naifeh (GN)
80. Laddertop, volume 1 by Orson Scott Card + Emily Janice Card (M)
81. How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr (N)
82. The Spider and the Fly by Tony DiTerlizzi (GN)
83. Perfectly Human by Julie Particka (N)


84. Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (N)
85. Faery Tales and Nightmares by Melissa Marr (N)
86. The Captive by LJ Smith (N)
87. The Stone Fey by Robin McKinley (GN)
88. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer (N)
89. Avatar: The Lost Adventures by Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino (GN)
90. Kimmie66 by Aaron Alexovich (GN)
91. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (N)
92. Magic Trixie by Jill Thompson (GN)
93. Magic Trixie Sleeps Over by Jill Thompson (GN)
94. The Super Scary Monster Show by Landry Walker (GN)
95. To Dance by Siena Cherson Siegel (GN)
96. Miki Falls: Spring by Mark Crilley


97. Burned by PC and Kristin Cast (N)
98. Hidden by Kelley Armstrong (Na)
99. 100 Girls by Adam Gallardo (GN)
100. Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey (N)
101. City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare (N)

Short Stories

1. "Beasts and BFFS" by Shannon Delany
2. "Retro Demonology" by Jana Oliver
3. "Old Habits" by Melissa Marr
4. "Cotton Candy Skies" by Melissa Marr
5. “Transition” by Melissa Marr
6. “Merely Mortal” by Melissa Marr
7. “Facing Facts” by Kelley Armstrong
8. “Bloody Sunshine” by Neil Gaiman
9. “Chivalrous” by Kelley Armstrong
10. “Niederwald” by Rachel Vincent
11. “Bridge” by Jeri Smith-Ready
12. "Hare Moon" by Carrie Ryan
13. “Dungeons of Langeais” by Becca Fitzpatrick
14. "Dream Dark" by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
15. “Lila the Werewolf” by Peter S Beagle
16. “Dark Beauty” by Taryn Browning
17. "Forever Summer" by Seleste deLaney
18. "For Fear of Dragons" by Carrie Vaughn
19. "Six Scents" by Lisa Mantchev
20. "Magnus' Vow" by Cassandra Clare
21. "The Power of Six" by Pittacus Lore
22. "First Frost" by Jennifer Estep
23. "Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel" by Kim Harrison
24. "Burning Bright" by Cassandra Clare
25. "Of Loss" by Cassandra Clare

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Winners: Speak

And the winner, of one copy of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson is...


*I was going to give away two copies, but due to the low number of entries, I'm giving away one now and will save one for a giveaway later

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Book Review: Witch Eyes

Braden was born with witch eyes: the ability to see the world as it truly is: a blinding explosion of memories, darkness, and magic. The power enables Braden to see through spells and lies, but at the cost of horrible pain.

After a terrifying vision reveals imminent danger for the uncle who raised and instructed him, Braden retreats to Belle Dam, an old city divided by two feuding witch dynasties. As rival family heads Catherine Lansing and Jason Thorpe desperately try to use Braden's powers to unlock Belle Dam's secrets, Braden vows never to become their sacrificial pawn. But everything changes when Braden learns that Jason is his father--and Trey, the enigmatic guy he's falling for, is Catherine's son.

To stop an insidious dark magic from consuming the town, Braden must master his gift—and risk losing the one he loves.

I was really looking forward to Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey. My best friend had talked about how much she was looking forward to it in 2010 that I immediately put it on my to read list. Not only that, but I put it on my 11 Must Reads of 2011 list. I got an early signed copy of it at PAYA back in August, and it took me a bit longer to get to it than I had planned. But I finally read it last week and loved it!

Braden, the main character, is a witch. And he's returning to Belle Dam where a witch feud has been taking place for a while. He has a special gift. A sight which allows him to see more than anyone else. But it causes him severe migraines, so he wears sunglasses to block it out. But he learns in Belle Dam that he is not the first with this gift. 

The history of the town and Grace Lansing were interesting. And Lucien was a fascinating character. I liked Catherine a lot, but I'm not sure I should. This is one of those rare books where the main character is narrating and you (and he) aren't sure who to trust, but you like everyone anyway. Usually, if I can't trust you, I don't like you. 

Other things I enjoyed: Braden is gay. It's something he's not had much acceptance for, but he and Trey fall for each other and are absolutely adorable together. It's also narrated by a male character. Something we're finally starting to see a lot more of in the YA collection. And witches! I love vampires, faeries, werewolves, etc... but I love none of them more than witches!

This is definitely a book to look for if you haven't read it. And look for Demon Eyes in 2012!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Happy Birthday Giveaway

Happy birthday to me! On December 23 actually. So I'm giving away two copies of one of my favorite books: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.

If you want to win a copy, you must:
1. Follow my blog via GFC.
2. Be 13 or older.
3. Have a US mailing address. (Sorry, I can't afford shipping out of the US at this time.)
4. Leave a comment on my blog about why you want to win Speak and your email so I can contact you.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Meeting Authors: Cassandra Clare, Michelle Hodkin, and a surprise

I went down to Bethesda Maryland last night to meet Cassandra Clare and Michelle Hodkin at an event at the library. When I got there, the room was packed, and I got in line to buy my books. Then this conversation happened. 

Me: I'd like The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer.
Bookstore Lady: There are no more. 
Me: What do you mean there are no more? 
BL: We didn't think many people would want this one. 
Me: Every time I come to a signing here with a stack of books you all are unhappy that I'm not buying books from you. Then I come here to buy from you, to support your indie store, and you run out. Next time I'll make sure I buy my books in advance. 

So then I walked out. It was a bit more dramatic then intended. And I was aware people were watching the conversation. I don't do dramatic, but I was annoyed. Because these people always lecture on supporting the indie, which I'm happy to do. And I had Cassie's signature in a couple of books already, so I was mostly there for Michelle Hodkin. Anyway, we're a few blocks from a B&N, so I was going to call and see if they had a copy. Then run over and get it. The bookstore lady followed me out to the doors of the library and said there was one copy they had pulled for the raffle, but they'd sell it to me instead. I was happy to get the book, but felt a bit guilty until I found out they had only brought 20 copies. And that this had been an issue before. 

Sending a well-known, successful author with a debut author is a marketing strategy. People will go for the author they know and love and hopefully pick up the other book. This isn't a trick. It's actually a good strategy. Though I was interested in Mara Dyer before this event. According to another event attendee, this same indie did something similar at another event. They stocked about 20 of the lesser known author's newest book, which was second in a series, and had ZERO of book one. That's not good business sense nor does it support the author and make attendees happy.  Now, while I'm all for supporting the indie book stores, I'm definitely going to be more careful. I'll be calling ahead to make sure they have the book(s) I want, and if I'm concerned about them having it, I'll be bringing a copy I've previously purchased. And if you're reading this, and you are an indie store, set polls or rsvps on your site to get an idea of how many books to order. I wouldn't be opposed to ordering ahead of time and pre-paying to ensure I get my copy. 

Now... enough of my ranting and on to the good stuff!

Cassie Clare talked a bit about her inspiration for her Shadowhunters. She said a tattoo artist friend of hers had a lot of runes in her sample book which made Cassie think about how warriors may decorate themselves with runes. And after a while the Shadowhunters were born. 

Most of the audience's questions were directed at her. Who's her favorite character? Which book is her favorite? Questions that are always hard for authors because it's "like choosing a favorite child." There were also a lot of "OMG! I just love this character!" followed by squeals. When asked which book guy she'd like to date, she responded, with no hesitation, Darcy. Someone asked her why The Infernal Devices was a darker series than The Mortal Instruments. Her reason is because of the time period. Victorian London was a darker place than our world. 

Michelle Hodkin also spoke about her inspiration for her book. She was a lawyer, doing civil anti-terrorism litigation. And while she was in New York, she met a woman whose daughter had survived a building collapse. Several of her friends died in that same accident. Michelle also met her daughter. She took their info to pass along to a lawyer who could help them. A year later, she tried to contact the woman and her daughter. Their number had been disconnected, and when researched, she could find no record of them. That night, she started writing the story. When Michelle was asked which book guy she'd like to date, she said she had no idea. However, she said she did like Simon from The Mortal Instruments. 

There were so many people at the signing, and I was on the far side of the room, I ended up at the back of the line, where I waited for an hour and 45 minutes. But when I got to the front of the line, Michelle recognized me. She said I was the first person she recognized from my Twitter avatar. This has happened once before, and I was really excited. I feel special! Haha! She was very sweet, and I glad to get to meet her.

And there was a surprise author at the event. While I was waiting in line I looked up and recognized Diana Peterfreund. I know she lives in the area, so it wasn't much of a shock to see her there. I'm not very good at recognizing people from their pictures online, but I've met her twice before. I tweeted that I saw her. And she found me in line, holding up her phone and asked me if I had tweeted her. She ended up standing in line with me while we chatted for about thirty minutes. She was very sweet as well.

All-in-all it was a really great event. I wanted to get pictures to post here, but i was seated in a bad place for taking them. I hope everyone else who attended had a great time as well.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Books vs. Movies: Hugo Cabret

Orphan Hugo Cabret lives in a wall. His secret home is etched out in the crevices of a busy Paris train station. Part-time clock keeper, part-time thief, he leads a life of quiet routine until he gets involved with an eccentric, bookish young girl and an angry old man who runs a toy booth in the station. The Invention of Hugo Cabret unfolds its cryptic, magical story in a format that blends elements of picture book, novel, graphic novel, and film. Caldecott Honor-winning author-illustrator Brian Selznick has fashioned an intricate puzzle story that binds the reader like a mesmerist's spell.

I have seen The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick on the shelves of book stores for a while now. But I must admit that I had never really paid attention to it until I realized a movie based on the novel would soon be hitting theaters. When I checked it out on Goodreads I found a review by one of my favorite authors, Maggie Stiefvater, who said she loved the book. So I checked it out from my library. I read it in only a few hours. Despite its length, it's a quick, easy read. And I would say probably close to 3/4 of the book is pictures.

The story of Hugo Cabret is beautiful and sad and marvelously entertaining. He lives with his drunk of an uncle in the walls of the train station after his father dies. He has no other family, and then his uncle disappears, but Hugo continues to keep the clocks at the train station running. He becomes a thief to keep himself as fed as he can and to fix his automaton. Before his father died, they began work on a small mechanical man who ran with clockworks. And Hugo continues on their work.

There are some interesting twists and turns, and many of the characters were much more than they initially showed up. As lovely as the story was, the images made it that much more charming. While this book is not written in comic form, it is definitely a graphic novel of sorts. The images are just as important to the story as the words.

Since I enjoyed the book so much, I had to see the movie in theaters. The movie has a shortened title. Just "Hugo". The actors were great, especially Asa Butterfield who starred as Hugo Cabret. In addition to the acting, the effects were great. They weren't over the top, as I've heard many say. I think they were perfect.

According to IMDb, author/illustrator Brian Selznick makes an appearance. I'll have to look for him next time.

As far as movie adaptations of a book go, this one was really close. The order of events weren't changed much. They added and subtracted little. They did, however, cut one of the major supporting characters from the movie. But they did well explaining things, small but important details that are often left out were well done here. My understanding of why so many stories are changed when turned into movies is because pacing in a book is different than pacing in a movie. While I found the book exciting, the movie was somewhat less so. It dragged in a few places.

So... read the book, and then see the movie. Don't miss out! Both were enjoyable.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Book Review: Revealers

Witchin' ain't easy.

Jules has a rebellious streak, a massive crush on Connor, and the abilities of a Revealer witch. By day, she and her coven friends seem like typical high school seniors. By night, they have the power to make werewolves, vampires, and ghosts reveal themselves, so they can destroy them. It's not exactly cheerleading, but at least the girls know they're doing the world some good.

One by one, Jules's friends turn eighteen and are initiated into the coven's inner circle. And one by one, they are getting completely freaked out. Jules is the youngest, and though her friends are too scared tell her what's going on, something's clearly not right. As her birthday approaches, Jules realizes she's got to find out what's behind the shadows of her coven before it's too late to save her friends...and herself. But what she discovers may be too powerful for even the toughest witches to defeat.

I was pleasantly surprised by Revealers by Amanda Marrone when I read it a few years ago. Honestly, though, I wasn't expecting much considering the reviews I had read. But I picked it up anyway because it looked like a quick read. And I like stories about witches.

This is the first book I remember reading that was set in present tense. When I read the first few pages, I thought it would bother me, but I was quickly swept up in the story and forgot about that. It was fast-paced, so I think present tense worked well.

I liked the main character, Jules. I found the characters to be interesting, and I liked their interaction. I also found it interesting to see witches as the monster hunters. So often they're just another race of supernaturals who co-exist with vampires, werewolves, and the like. 

I really enjoyed Revealers and am looking forward to more books by Amanda Marrone. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Fall Into YA Wrap up

Fall into YA is officially over. : ( But it was fun while it lasted. Thanks to everyone who participated. Congrats to FreakChiq for winning. And also congrats to runners up Spav, Rebecca T, Midnight, and Allie. And to Sandy from Scribing Shadows who didn't know the answers and I made her take the quiz for fun since she's not allowed to win the book she's giving away. =P

YA Quiz Answers

1. Perfect
2. Shut Out
3. Delirium
4. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
5. Stolen
6. The Girl of Fire and Thorns
7. Kelley Armstrong
8. The Pledge
9. He kills the dead
10. Voices of Dragons
11. Wicked Lovely
12. Magnus + Tessa/Camille
13. If I Die
14. House of Night
15. Mockingjay

#10 seems to have been the hardest question. Only one person got it. Congrats, Spav! Here is the picture of the little dragon hiding under it's beautiful cover


There are lots of books with fun things hiding under the dust jackets. Check your shelves to look beneath the dust jackets of The Wolves of Mercy Falls series, the House of Night series, and The Hunger Games series. And, my favorite hidden gem, on Fragile Eternity.

Again, thanks to everyone who participated and helped make this event a fun one!